Eric eating tacos


Ultimately, it is all a matter of taste.

This pertains to our artistic tastes, our taste for food and drink, our taste for literature, our taste for music, our taste for aesthetics; of essentially everything.

Is there a hierarchy of tastes?

  • Eric eating tacos

This is what people try to get you to believe: that there is a hierarchy of tastes– some tastes being more “legitimate” than others.

For example, consider all these “wine snobs” who try to superimpose their tastes upon you– telling you that you MUST drink red wine with meat, and you MUST drink white wine with fish.

What if you preferred to drink white wine with steak? Or red wine and white fish? The wine snobs would call you an idiot and stupid. But who is making up these stupid rules always?

In praise of meat

I am very ‘meat-forward’. I believe meat is the supreme nutrition, and the fattier the meat, the better.

Now of course this is just my opinion. It ain’t “right” nor is it “wrong”. It is simply my taste and philosophical belief.

I don’t want to force vegans to eat meat, but I also don’t want vegans to force me NOT to eat meat.

There needs to be symmetry:

You leave me alone, and I also leave you alone.

Both sides get confused

Seared lamb // Rosetta in Mexico City (Roma Norte)
Seared lamb // Rosetta in Mexico City (Roma Norte)

Let everyone eat what they want to. And let others NOT eat what they don’t want to.

For example, I tend to prefer NOT to eat any carbs. I prefer to only eat lots of meat and fat. But Cindy likes to eat carbs– and that is fine! I don’t try to prohibit her from eating carbs if she wants to. But she also doesn’t prohibit me from eating meat.

And also if I am at a nice restaurant with her (like Rosetta in Roma Norte in Mexico City), I will just eat some of the pasta, bread, or spaghetti with her– to share the experience with her.

Spaghetti with spicy sausage // Rosetta in Mexico City (Roma Norte)

Food as ideology

This is what I’ve figured out– ultimately how you eat comes down to your personal ideology.

Many people I know who are vegetarian or vegan do it for ethical reasons (animals are thinking beings, and it isn’t morally right for humans to kill animals in order to eat them). Others do it for environmental reasons (animals are bad with the planet, and if we keep eating animals we will cause ‘earth death’).

Focaccia bread at Rosetta
Focaccia bread at Rosetta

Many of the proponents of a “plant based diet” do it for BOTH the ethical and the environmental.

Then some others do it only for ethical reasons. Some vegans I know think that animals aren’t destroying the planet. But they still prefer not to eat meat. And I don’t think anyone should force a vegan to eat meat (similarly, I don’t want anyone to force me NOT to eat meat).

Variety of breads at rosetta
Variety of breads at rosetta

Why do you eat what you eat?

For me it is simple:

I desire to consume a diet which contributes maximally to my physical vigor. Also a diet which maximizes my muscle gain, and minimizes my fat gain.

For me, this is a high-meat and low-carb/starch diet. The closest notion is ‘ketogenic’ (even though I am technically not keto, because I eat LOTS of meat and LOTS of protein. Ketogenic folks claim “moderate protein” and “high fat”, whereas I follow “high protein” and “high fat”).

Cochinita Pibil (stewed pork) in Polanco Mexico City
Cochinita Pibil (stewed pork) in Polanco Mexico City

Artistic aesthetics are personal to your taste

Another big thing:

Aesthetics and art all comes down to YOUR personal taste.

For example, I love this combination of aesthetics:

It ain’t for everyone. But I love it!

SHOULD everyone like monochrome as much as I do? No.

Your goal:

Keep experimenting until you discover a taste YOU LOVE, and then share your love of that taste with others.

Your tastes will evolve

In photography art and life, realize– your tastes, preferences, and aesthetics change OVER TIME!

For example, I go through periods I prefer color. Other periods I prefer black and white. It tends to be a ‘yin and yang‘ cycle (yin is perhaps color, and yang is perhaps monochrome).

Coffee tastes

  • coffee bubbles macro
  • Coffee beans
  • Close up of coffee filter
  • Bee and coffee cup.
  • eric kim arm black and white caffeine coffee fist
  • Tools of Hanoi: Ricoh GR II, GoPro Hero 3, and (lots of) coffee in Hanoi, 2016
  • Happy with coffee and my film Leica in Portland, 2015

A practical example:

When I was in college, I hated coffee. Now I LOVE coffee (especially bright espresso coffee from Ethiopia).

We all know that children hate the taste of beer. But many people grow to like the taste.

Same with “natto” — fermented Japanese-style beans. I personally love the taste; others hate it.

Same goes with wine; children hate the taste of alcohol, but we learn to love the taste.

Tokyo // Cindy and wine

No such thing as objectively good or bad taste

Beware those who try to sucker you into preferring a certain taste contrary to your own personal taste.

For example, don’t let others tell you what “good taste” and what “bad taste” is.

Follow your own stomach, your own tongue, and your own BS meter.

Whatever taste you like is best!




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